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2016-01Cover

On the Cover

January-February 2016
Volume 104, Number 1

Flames behave very differently in space than they do on the ground.An experiment called BASS-II (for Burning and Suppression of Solids) flew on the International Space Station in 2014 and explored flame dynamics using several materials, including acrylic rods (as shown on the cover), in different rates of air flow.Tests were designed to evaluate materials that might be used in spacecraft....


FEATURE ARTICLES

Archaeology from the Air *

William Carter, Ramesh Shrestha, Juan C. Fernandez-Diaz

In aircraft flying “low and slow,” instruments sending out hundreds of thousands of laser pulses per second can gather enough data to reveal archaeological sites hidden under dense forest canopies.


The Penguin's Palette: More Than Black and White *

Daniel T. Ksepka

This stereotypically tuxedo-clad bird shows that evolution certainly can accessorize.


Fire in Microgravity

Indrek Wichman, Sandra L. Olson, Fletcher J. Miller, Ashwin Hariharan

In space, flames don’t extinguish under the same low-oxygen conditions that would put them out on Earth, setting the stage for dangerous flare-ups.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ NIGHTSTAND

Pavlov's Perestroika

Harold Green

A brief review of Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science, by Daniel P. Todes

See all book reviews for this issue


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

The Promise of the New Year

Jamie L. Vernon

TECHNOLOGUE

Bessemer's Volcano and the Birth of Steel

Making this versatile metal plentiful gave rise to Christmas and an understanding of modern physics.

Ainissa Ramirez

ENGINEERING

The Bridge that United Two Cities*

A historic span across the Danube River has become an emblem of Hungary’s modern political evolution, and of the international nature of engineering.

Henry Petroski

ARTS LAB

Drawn to Caribou

In Canada’s Northwest Territories, an ecologist is replacing lab notes with sketches that blend genetic research with traditional ecological knowledge.

Bethann Garramon Merkle

Click to Enlarge Image

SPOTLIGHT

The Nets Around the Neurons

In a mass of tissue as densely packed and hard-working as the brain, even the holes among the structural elements have jobs to do.

Sandra J. Ackerman

Click to Enlarge Image

Air Pollution and Sunlight Q&A

Air pollution isn't static. Different substances react with one another to produce shifting combinations of compounds.

Fenella Saunders

INFOGRAPHIC

Mighty Small

Here, we pull apart matter to show elementary particles at work.

Briefings

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Hardy of Hardy-Weinberg

Mona Lisa in 3D

Opacity of Early Universe

A Package Deal


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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